NAPO Washington Reports

NAPO Meets with Jeffrey Rosen, Deputy Attorney General Nominee; Law Enforcement Mental Health & Wellness Grants; NAPO Urges Democratic Presidential Candidates to Disavow Chesimard; NAPO on the Hill: 116th Congress Priorities; NAPO Endorses the Supporting & Treating Officers in Crisis Act;NAPO Supports Fentanyl Screening Equipment for Law Enforcement; National Blue Alert Update on State-Level Efforts;

April 8, 2019


NAPO Meets with Jeffrey Rosen, Deputy Attorney General Nominee

 NAPO President Mick McHale and Executive Director Bill Johnson spoke with President Trump’s nominee to replace Rod Rosenstein as Deputy Attorney General (DAG), Jeffrey Rosen, who is currently serving as Deputy Secretary of Transportation. They spoke with Deputy Secretary Rosen to get a better understanding of where he stood regarding the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) role in supporting state and local law enforcement.  McHale and Johnson discussed NAPO’s priority issues for DOJ, adding that they hope that the close relationship between the Department and state and local law enforcement continues under his and Attorney General Barr’s leadership.  NAPO’s representatives were favorably impressed with Deputy Secretary Rosen and believe that he will serve our nation well as DAG.

 NAPO touched on the need for continued federal support for law enforcement through funding, resources and general support for the officers on the street. They also strongly emphasized the need for increased penalties for those who harm or target law enforcement officers and suggested that the DOJ can act to ensure such protections for officers, without waiting for new legislation. While NAPO works for the passage of the Thin Blue Line Act and the Protect and Serve Act, we believe there are other tools at the Department’s disposal to extend protections to state and local law enforcement without the passage of legislation.

 McHale and Johnson also highlighted our priority grant programs within the DOJ, including the COPS Hiring Program, the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, the Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act (MIOTRCA), and the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Program, and urged support for fully funding the programs as part of the Department’s next budget request.

 Deputy Secretary Rosen stated he supports the work and priorities of former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as they are his and Attorney General Barr’s priorities as well.  He strongly believes in the role state and local law enforcement play in our nation’s fights against violent crime. He understands that border control, transnational crime and the opioid epidemic impact the work of state and local law enforcement as much as federal law enforcement and that the partnership and support of the DOJ is vital to our efforts to keep our communities and officers safe.

Deputy Secretary Rosen wants to maintain and grow the close, collaborative relationship the Department has developed with NAPO. McHale and Johnson thanked him and stated that NAPO looks forward to working with him as DAG to ensure the men and women protecting our communities have the support and resources necessary to do their jobs safely and effectively.

 NAPO has formally endorsed Deputy Secretary Rosen’s nomination to be the next Deputy Attorney General.  You can view our endorsement letter here.

 Law Enforcement Mental Health & Wellness Grants

On March 29, the COPS Office announced the latest Fiscal 2019 grant solicitations, which included funding opportunities for the newly established the Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (LEMHWA) Program. This grant program was created as part of the LEMHWA in 2017.  This was a priority bill for NAPO and since its enactment, we have been fighting to get this program funded.  In a victory for NAPO and officers across the country, we were successful in getting $2 million for it in Fiscal 2019 to help fund peer mentoring training and support. While $2 million is not near enough to provide officers everywhere the necessary services to ensure their mental health and wellness, it is a start and one that we will continue to build upon. 

 The LEMHWA Program

 The Fiscal Year 2019 Law Enforcement Mental Health and Wellness Act (LEMHWA) program is a competitive solicitation, open to all public governmental agencies, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, institutions of higher education, community groups, and faith-based organizations.

 LEMHWA funds are used to improve the delivery of and access to mental health and wellness services for law enforcement through training and technical assistance, demonstration projects, and implementation of promising practices related to peer mentoring mental health and wellness programs that are national in scope and responsive to the solicitation topic requirements.

The 2019 LEMHWA program will fund projects that develop knowledge, increase awareness of effective mental health and wellness strategies, increase the skills and abilities of law enforcement, and increase the number of law enforcement agencies and relevant stakeholders using peer mentoring programs.

Up to $2 million is available through this year's program, and according to our discussions with the COPS Office, grantees will be awarded up to $100,000.

 Applications must be submitted by May 28, 2019. Additional information on the grant program, what it will fund, and how to apply can be found here:

 If you have questions about the LEMHWA Program or any available COPS Office grant programs, please contact Andy Edmiston at  

 NAPO Urges Democratic Presidential Candidates
to Disavow Chesimard

 At the We the People Summit on April 1, 2019, Jamal Watkins, the Vice President of Civic Engagement at the NAACP, invoked Assata Shakur, otherwise known as Joanne Chesimard - a murder and convicted cop-killer, as a leader for change.  In attendance at the Summit were eight of the Democratic candidates for president: Senators Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, and Kirsten Gillibrand, Governor Jay Inslee, Beto O'Rourke, and Julián Castro. When none of these candidates for president disavowed Watkins’s remarks, NAPO wrote to each candidate urging them to condemn Chesimard and everything for which she stands.

 Joanne Chesimard is the only woman on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list for her role in the cold-blooded killing of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973. The fact that she is being held up as a champion to follow is an affront to the men and women who have dedicated their lives to protecting our communities as law enforcement officers – above all to the family and friends of police officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

 Our nation’s law enforcement community counts on national leaders, as these candidates hope to be, to stand up for and support the men and women who risk their lives every day to ensure our neighborhoods and communities are safe.  They cannot do so unless they repudiate everything for which Joanne Chesimard stands. There is no way to delink Chesimard from the role she played in the execution-style killing of State Trooper Foerster or the fact that she is now a wanted fugitive living free in Cuba while no justice has been brought to Trooper Foerster’s family for his murder.

 The We the People Program is supposed to promote civic competence and responsibility. It is unacceptable to teach students – the future of our country – that violence and killing a law enforcement officer is a responsible way to affect change. These candidates must condemn the invocation of Joanne Chesimard and what she represents.

 You can view NAPO's letters to each candidate here.

 NAPO on the Hill: 116th Congress Priorities

 NAPO met with the staff of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to discuss our priority legislation for this Congress. Specifically, we discussed the legislation we want to see movement on or passed during National Police Week. 

 We discussed the Protect and Serve Act, which will enhance officer safety by increasing penalties for the murder, attempted murder, or assault of state and local law enforcement officers, reauthorization of the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Program, the Never Forget the Heroes: Permanent Reauthorization of the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund Act, legislation to fix the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program as it relates to 9/11-related health conditions, reauthorization of the COPS Program and the LEOSA Reform Act.

 The Minority Leader has always been supportive of our efforts to move key pieces of legislation during National Police Week and his staff indicated they would help us in any way they can even though they no longer control the House.

NAPO also met with the judiciary staff of Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), the sponsors of the COPS Reauthorization Act, to discuss the reintroduction of the bill as well as strategy for moving it forward.  This legislation is a priority for NAPO and part of our National Police Week package.

 NAPO met with Senator Charles Grassley’s (R-IA) staff about our efforts to improve the PSOB Program, including the draft legislation we worked with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) that would fix issues surrounding 9/11-related health conditions.  Senator Grassley has always been a supporter of the PSOB Program and a strong advocate of ensuring officers and their families get the benefits they deserve in a timely manner.  On March 18, the Senator – as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee – sent a letter to Attorney General Barr  about the unfair and inconsistent application of the program’s “very stringent requirements” for officers disabled in the line of duty. He is concerned that the stringent requirements for PSOB disability benefits make it extremely difficult for officers to qualify, and that the PSOB regulations regarding disability benefits do not match up with Congressional intent.  We could not agree with the Senator more on this account and we are glad to have found such strong support for changing the rules around PSOB disability requirements.

 Senator Grassley is interested in introducing legislation to make it easier for public safety officers disabled in the line of duty to qualify for PSOB disability benefits and we are working with his staff and Senator Gillibrand’s staff in the hopes of coming together with one PSOB improvements bill.  This is a priority for NAPO and we will keep our members updated on our progress. The PSOB legislation remains on our National Police Week list and we hope we can move it as part of that package.

 We have much work to do to ensure that these bills are able to progress and have enough bipartisan support both in Committee and on the floor.  NAPO continues meeting with members of the House and Senate to gain support for our priority legislation. If you have any questions about NAPO’s meetings on the Hill or the issues addressed, please contact Andy Edmiston at

NAPO Endorses the Supporting & Treating Officers in Crisis Act

 NAPO has offered its full support for the Supporting and Treating Officers in Crisis (STOIC) Act (S. 998), introduced by Senators Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). This legislation would reauthorize and revitalize a DOJ grant program for law enforcement officer family-support services that expired in 2000 and was last funded in 2005.  In addition to the family-support services available under the grant, the STOIC Act will expand the grant program’s eligible uses to better address the mental-health and support needs to LEOs, especially as it relates to suicide prevention. The bill would specifically allow grant recipients to use funds to establish suicide-prevention programs and to support officers suffering stress and mental-health issues.

 An April 2018 white paper by the Ruderman Family Foundation found that first responders are more likely to die from suicide than in the line of duty. In 2018, there were at least 159 police officer suicides compared to 145 line of duty deaths.  Additionally, according to the National Study of Police Suicides, officers are 2.5 times more likely to die from suicides than from homicides, a much more sobering statistic.

 State and local law enforcement officers are our nation’s first responders. They respond to our country’s greatest tragedies as well as violent and abhorrent crimes that unfortunately occur with some frequency in our neighborhoods. They have seen and experienced horrors that they cannot forget, yet they still put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve our communities.

 The stresses and strains of the job not only affect officers’ mental and physical wellbeing, but also the wellbeing of their family life. It is vital that we recognize the stress factors of the job and give officers and their families the resources they need to address their emotional and mental wellbeing. The STOIC Act will help ensure important support services are available for officers and their families.  We look forward to working with Senators Hawley and Whitehouse to see this important bill passed into law.

 NAPO Supports Fentanyl Screening Equipment for Law Enforcement

 According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, have surpassed prescription opioids as the most common cause of overdose deaths in the United States. Among the over 42,000 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2016, 19,400 (46%) involved fentanyl, which is a significant increase from 2010 when only 3,000 (14%) opioid-related deaths involved fentanyl.

 Fentanyl, particularly illicitly manufactured fentanyl, and other synthetic drugs are having deadly consequences on communities across the country, both big and small, and local law enforcement officers are on the front line in the fight against these drugs. Because illicit fentanyl is so powerful — just a few salt-sized grains can kill an adult — small amounts go a long way for drug traffickers. These relatively small and potent amounts mean fentanyl is difficult and hazardous to detect, making it easy to traffic and a danger to those trying to stop its spread into our communities.

 To ensure that state and local law enforcement have the resources needed to identify and fight the diffusion of opioids, NAPO has once again endorsed the Providing Officers with Electronic Resources (POWER) Act (S. 954/ H.R. 2070), sponsored by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Congressman Connor Lamb (D-PA).

 The POWER Act will help state and local law enforcement detect fentanyl and protect themselves from accidental overdoses by using the same screening equipment Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents have successfully used to stop fentanyl at the border.  This legislation would support state and local law enforcements’ efforts to conduct drug investigations and prosecute drug crimes by providing essential funding for agencies to purchase chemical screening devices and giving them resources to help safeguard officers in the field from possible deadly exposure.

 NAPO believes rank-and-file law enforcement officers must be given the training, resources and support necessary to keep themselves and the communities they serve safe in the fight to end the opioid crisis. We will work with Senator Brown and Congressman Lamb to ensure state and local law enforcement are given the equipment necessary to help address our nation’s growing drug epidemic.

 National Blue Alert Update on State-Level Efforts

 The Blue Alert Advisory Group, of which NAPO is a member, in conjunction with the Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Office, is continuing to work on establishing Blue Alert systems in all 50 states. Currently, nineteen states do not have Blue Alert networks. Getting Blue Alert plans up and running in all 50 states is a priority for NAPO as it ensures the National Blue Alert Network we fought so hard to get enacted as part of the Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act works efficiently and effectively to protect officers from harm.

 The COPS Office has held initial state working group calls in the states that currently do not have Blue Alerts. The purpose of these calls is to bring together core stakeholders in the state to coordinate efforts to support the establishment of a Blue Alert plan. Due to the collaborative work of the Advisory Group and the COPS Office, 8 of the 19 states have legislation pending that would establish Blue Alerts: Iowa, Idaho, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Vermont, New Jersey, New York*, and West Virginia. NAPO thanks our member organizations who have played a significant role in getting the pending legislation introduced. 

 The COPS Office and the Advisory Group continue to work with stakeholders in the remaining 11 states to push for legislation to establish Blue Alert Plans.  NAPO will keep our members updated on the status of the National Blue Alert Network and our state-level efforts. If you are interested in receiving information and resources on how to establish a Blue Alert plan or you wish to participate in the state-level working group, please contact Andy Edmiston at

 * While legislation has been introduced in New York, NAPO and our New York member organizations do not feel that it is strong enough to accomplish what we want.  We are continuing to work on legislation in New York that will establish a robust Blue Alert Plan.

 NAPO’s 2019 Lobby Day
Legislative Breakfast & Legislative Awards Luncheon

 Please join NAPO on May 14, 2019 for our Legislative Day on Capitol Hill.  Use this opportunity to lobby Congressional Representatives and Senators on behalf of your members concerning the issues which affect law enforcement.  Prior to lobbying Capitol Hill, plan to attend NAPO’s Legislative Breakfast for an update on NAPO’s legislative priorities, results to date from the 116th Congress, and to receive handouts to use during your Hill visits.


For assistance setting up your Capitol Hill appointments, contact Andy Edmiston, NAPO’s Director of Governmental Affairs, at (800) 322-6276 or, by May 3.

 You can register online or using the attached registration form.

 Advanced Registration is Required to attend NAPO’s Legislative Awards Luncheon. Please contact Elizabeth Loranger, NAPO’s Director of Events, for additional information on the Legislative Breakfast or Legislative Luncheon at (800) 322-6276 or

 While on Capitol Hill be sure to stop by NAPO’s Legislative Awards Luncheon, where several Representatives and Senators will be recognized for their continued support of Law Enforcement.

Become a Law Enforcement Organization Sponsor
26th Annual TOP COPS Awards®

 TOP COPS is quickly approaching. The 26th Annual TOP COPS Awards® will take place on Sunday, May 12, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. We hope you will be able to join us in Washington, D.C. to honor these outstanding men and women. To support our efforts in producing a deserving tribute, we are asking all NAPO members to please consider becoming a Law Enforcement Organization Sponsor: 

$1,000 tax-deductible donation:
Up to 2 guests at the Awards Dinner & Reception
Recognition on the NAPO Website as a TOP COPS® Sponsor
Listing in the Awards Program Book 

 $2,500 tax-deductible donation:
Up to 5 guests at the Awards Dinner & Reception
Recognition on the NAPO Website as a TOP COPS® Sponsor
Listing in the Awards Program Book
Recognition in the Washington Report as a TOP COPS® Sponsor

 $3,000 tax-deductible donation:
Up to 10 guests at the Awards Dinner & Reception
Recognition on the NAPO Website as a TOP COPS® Sponsor
Full-Page Recognition/Advertisement in Program Book
Recognition at the Awards Ceremony
Recognition in the Washington Report as a TOP COPS® Sponsor 

 $5,000 tax-deductible donation:
Up to 10 guests at the Awards Dinner & Reception
Recognition on the NAPO Website as a TOP COPS® Sponsor
Advertisement in Program Book Inside or Outside Back Cover
Recognition at the Awards Ceremony
Recognition in the Washington Report as a TOP COPS® Sponsor 

 $7,500 tax-deductible donation:
Up to 10 guests at the Awards Dinner & Reception
Recognition on the NAPO Website as a TOP COPS® Sponsor
Advertisement in Program Book, 2-page Centerfold
Recognition at the Awards Ceremony
Recognition in the Washington Report as a TOP COPS® Sponsor

 Donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by federal law.  The dinner value must normally be excluded from the amount claimed as a deduction. 

 To support this year’s TOP COPS Awards® please return the attached sponsorship form to NAPO by April 12, 2019.  We hope you will help us this year in honoring America’s Finest at the 26th Annual TOP COPS Awards®.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact NAPO’s Director of Events, Elizabeth Loranger, at
(800) 322-6276 or  with any questions or concerns.  We look forward to seeing you in May

If you have any questions about the legislation discussed in this issue of the Washington Report, contact Andy Edmiston at or
(703) 549-0775.